Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Recognition of prior learning

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is defined as the process by which prior learning is given a value. It is a means by which prior learning is formally identified, assessed and acknowledged (NQAI, 2005).

RPL involves the assessment of knowledge, skills and competence previously acquired. Learning occurs in many contexts which include work, involvement in social and community activities, or learning through life experience generally. RPL does not give credit for experience as such; rather it considers the learning that was acquired as a result of the experience.

The RCSI RPL Policy can be found here.

The RPL Learner Assessment portfolio form is available for the following modes of RPL:


If you believe that you qualify for RPL, you must first make contact with your programme director to discuss why you believe you qualify for RPL. If your programme director is in agreement, you will need to submit a course application for the programme you wish to apply for using the apply online system. Once you have completed this standard application for your course, you will need to complete an RPL supplemental application.

The link to complete this RPL supplemental application will be sent to you upon submission of the standard course application.